Anti-Smoking Policy Tightened in Japan

Japan has long been regarded as one of the most sophisticated destinations among developed countries worldwide. It was also previously considered as an oasis for smokers since puffing on a cigarette was generally allowed in many establishments including, among others, restaurants and bars. Japan used to have a lenient policy on smoking. In fact, the World Health Organization declared that Japan has one of the worst ratings all over the globe when it comes to the country’s efforts to prevent passive smoking. As compared to other Asian countries like China and South Korea, Japan’s policies to lessen the impact of secondhand smoking is below par.


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However, in consideration of the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics, the City Government of Tokyo passed more stringent anti-smoking rules last year. The said law imposes a smoking ban in all restaurants located at the capital. Nonetheless, these restaurants may set up a separate area exclusively for smokers which is not intended for regular customers to eat or drink. For school premises from kindergarten to highschool, cigarette smoking is absolutely prohibited. On the other hand, universities and hospital buildings are allowed to set up a smoking zone outside their establishments.


In this regard, one of the Japanese universities decided that they would no longer be hiring professors and teaching staff who are into smoking. But applicants who promise to break their habit of smoking before assuming their post could still be possibly hired. Nagasaki University also intends to entirely ban smoking within their school promises by August of this year and open a rehabilitiation clinic to cater to those who cannot quit their bad habit.


According to local news sources, Nagasaki university is the first ever state university in Japan to initiate such a strict condition of employment after the city government passed a new anti-smoking policy. Yusuke Takakura, the spokesman of Nagasaki university said that chain smokers are not fit in the academic field. Nagasaki univeristy has already sought legal advice regarding their strict policy. For them, the policy does not violate any of the discrimination laws in Japan.


Reference: Stubbed out: Japanese university stops hiring smoking professors


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